Apollo astronaut Harrison Schmitt believes that private firms will soon take over from space agencies.
One of the last men to walk on the Moon, Schmitt maintains that private enterprises will lead the way for future space travel and that government agencies are simply too "inefficient" to launch another manned Moon mission. Once space travel becomes sufficiently economical private companies are likely to dominate the space sector in everything from tourism to asteroid mining. Schmitt also believes that space-based operations will allow companies to mine a new type of fuel known as helium-3.
"The economy of space and economy of settlements of the Moon will be supported by helium-3," he said. "When you have a reason to build rockets and spacecraft and mining machines, costs will come down."
"One of the last men to set foot on the Moon has said that private enterprise will be the driving force for a return to the lunar surface."
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